Monday, November 3, 2008

bug front: nothing to report, law school front: assvice

I resist saying that there have been fewer bugs lately, because they probably have freaky psychic powers and would know that I had let my guard down and then they would come out in droves. So...I'll just say that I'm glad for a few below freezing nights.

I've already read a few other bloggers' posts giving advice to future 1Ls. Generally it strikes me as the blind leading the blind, or as some thinly veiled attempt to talk about characteristics or behaviors that the blogger finds annoying (which I can definitely get on board with). Either way, its a bandwagon I've decided to jump onto. Future 1Ls can take the following as advice, former 1Ls can take it as commentary and anyone else can take it as one woman's short-sighted and naive insight.

More than anything else that I can say, law school is not what I expected. I did not expect to enjoy my classes (at least for the first year) and I really do. I expected to be terribly intimidated by the socratic method and I'm not. I expected that the level of competition would motivate me to study nearly constantly and it doesn't. I expected to derive a lot of energy from that competition and I find that it drains every bit of energy and motivation out of me. I expected that this blog would help me to deal with the crazies that I encounter and it instead magnifies my irritation. I never expected to miss my hometown for a second. I expected competition to be more overt. I expected there to be more jerks. I did not expect to struggle so much with these damn outlines.

I say this because I am a planner. I was sure that I knew what I was in for. I read every single entry of every single law school blog I could find. I bought or borrowed countless pre-law school books. Its fair to say that I knew that I would spend a significant amount of time studying, that I knew that dealing with grades would be mentally and emotionally difficult, and that I knew there would be competition. What I didn't know, what has had the most impact, is that I didn't know how I would react.

Its bizarre in a lot of ways to reflect on how I've reacted to the various situations, academic and otherwise, that law school has thrown at me. Doing that reflection is one of the reasons I started this blog, and yet I can already tell that in one tiny way I have started to outgrow one of the purposes of my blog. I expected to use this space to vent about fricking morons in my classes, and to be fair I've taken the opportunity to do that a few times (and I'll probably do it a few more times). But I've also realized that the act of remembering some stupid thing for long enough to blog about it means that I just have time to think about the thing and stew. Instead of chilling I reinvest in the drama and then complain about how ohmygodnooneevergivesanythingup. Yes, I'm put off by my classmates' propensities to be know-it-alls and by the fact that most people think that your business is their business, but I get a lot more sleep if I don't keep rerunning things thinking "How can I make this funny or interesting enough to put on the internet?"

So my assvice? Don't hold on to things in law school. Don't hold on to the feeling of the first legal writing grade (barf) or the way that everyone was weird during orientation. Don't hold on to the passive-aggressive comments of the people who do better or of the people who do worse than you. Don't hold on to the fact that some people are incredibly friendly one minute and incredibly icy the next. Don't hold on to the kind of law you think you want to practice (at least not to the exclusion of all else). Don't hold on to the fact that you were always the person who got all As. Don't hold on to being able to speak well in class, and don't hold on to sounding like a freaking idiot. Time is limited in law school and free time even more so. All I'm saying is that if you're going to hold on to something, make sure its worth it.

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